We ain’t got no alibi.

According to Travel + Leisure magazine, Philadelphia is the ugliest city in the United States. No, I’m not talking about trash or attitudes, they’re referring to you and me, our looks. Apparently, they’re the worst in the country. I admit I do not think Philadelphia is the most beautiful city. Prior to moving here I spent a great deal of time in New York where I felt quite like a hideous troll compared to the tall, beautiful, fashionable women. In Philadelphia I feel far more comparatively attractive. That said, I am surprised by the dead last rating.

In the Inquirer article covering the results a center city man claims Minneapolis beat us because “because they’re all born blond with blue eyes there. Maybe it’s something against brunettes and redheads.” He may not be that far from the truth. A recent article in Psychology Today points out that evolutionary instincts support the cultural stereotype that men prefer blondes with blue eyes.

Typically, young girls with light blond hair become women with brown hair. Thus, men who prefer to mate with blond women are unconsciously attempting to mate with younger (and hence, on average, healthier and more fecund) women.

…preference for blue eyes seems both universal and undeniable–in males as well as females. One explanation is that the human pupil dilates when an individual is exposed to something that she likes. Pupil dilation is an honest indicator of interest and attraction. And the size of the pupil is easiest to determine in blue eyes. Blue-eyed people are considered attractive as potential mates because it is easiest to determine whether they are interested in us or not.

I suppose, then, we should blame human instinct and not Travel + Leisure magazine.

4 Comments so far

  1. coeset (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 11:24 pm

    Ridiculous. I’d love to see how they conducted their research and whom they surveyed. Two overarching comments though:
    1) I’ve heard the blond haired theory many times in many places and it all appears to make sense if you come from a culture where blond hair pre-dominates among young children, if not among adults as well. Once you begin to consider cultures in which this is not the norm (blacks, Asians, Semites, etc.) the theory falls apart.
    2)Same goes for the light-eyes theory. Furthermore, I’ve also heard the exact opposite of the pupil theory, at least among babies. Studies have found that babies are more attracted to brown eyed people, exactly because their pupils are nearly indistinguishable from their eye color. Dark eyes, the theory goes, suggest to the baby’s subconscious that the adult who gazes upon him/her is happy and pleased to see the baby. The converse theory, applied to adults, presupposes that somewhere between babyhood and adulthood, we somehow become aware of pupil size in a less subconscious fashion than we did as babies. This seems counter-intuitive.
    All in all, Travel + Leisure should stick to travel and leisure. Philadelphia is full of the gorgeous, the hideous, the glamorous, and the plain. Silly article.


  2. Unphiladelphian (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2007 @ 12:59 pm

    It was a rating of ‘attractiveness’, not ‘unattractiveness’. It says other cities are more attractive, not Philadelphia is straight up ugly. Dumbies.

    Ironic, how the Philadelphia attitude of upfront defense without thinking is so..unattractive.


  3. coeset (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2007 @ 10:27 pm

    Ironic? yes – ironic how some nimrod who seeks to disparage the intelligence of an entire city winds up misspelling the word “dummies.” get a clue.


  4. Ursula (unregistered) on October 26th, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

    I just wonder who did the actual rating, because this was plastered all over the national news.

    One person’s “ugly” may be another person’s “beauty”…so really, it all comes down to personal preference. I’ve met some beautiful people from Phillie…



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